How I learned to stop worrying and love the conference call

I have lots of dial-in meetings for my job. Some of us are on mobile phones, some on office phones, some in a room together with a speakerphone. More than one person is on a speakerphone at any given time. Many of my coworkers are quick, verbal people who talk over each other.

For months my frustration has risen. I can’t talk or hear most of the time. Small noises near speakerphones are tremendously magnified: huge clacking keyboards, rumbling mice, ghastly gurgling mucus, and rustling paper like thunder.

Duelling cheap switches on speakerphones result in unintentional arguments, and questions that can’t be answered because everyone is talking over everyone else. Frequently the system overloads and only a buzz or shriek can be heard.

Today I had a breakthrough. This is a wonderful industrial/cutup anarcho-postmodern noise piece. Cabaret Voltaire and Adrian Sherwood are in the house. We are smashing the already smashed mirror! We’re going beyond! WE ARE ART DAMAGE!

But enough rejoicing. It’s time for me to get back to tuning feedback into the mix of bug report discussions and the hellacious crash of plastic water bottles. My JUICES are FLOWING!!

12 thoughts on “How I learned to stop worrying and love the conference call

  1. Several departments here at work got fed up enough that they grabbed the corporate credit card and snagged a bunch of those fancy high-tech, high-quality triangular-ish speakerphones from eBay. The peasants rejoiced.


      1. the Australian 3 prong boomerang is the best. I hate the speaker phone. Technology to improve telecom does not seem to have moved in over a decade.


  2. I’m on these sorts of calls all the time. The only thing at works is to establish behavior norms on the participants, such as designated times to talk and limiting discussions to relevant speakers. I’m one of the worst offenders at speaking out of turn, so I can certainly sympathize.


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